By: Vladimir Isachenkov * |AP|
George Blake, a former British intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union and passed some of the most coveted Western secrets to Moscow, has died in Russia. He was 98
Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, known as SVR, announced his death on Saturday in a statement which didn’t give any details. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences, hailing Blake as a “brilliant professional” and a man of “remarkable courage”.
As a double agent, Blake exposed a Western plan to eavesdrop on Soviet communications from an underground tunnel into East Berlin. He also unmasked scores of British agents in Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe, some of whom were executed. Blake has lived in Russia since his daring escape from a British prison in 1966 and was given the rank of Russian intelligence colonel.
Britain considered Blake to be a traitor, but the man himself never agreed with that assessment and said he had never actually “felt” British.